Marc Murphy said he’d been thinking about remodeling his gun store. A fire on March 3 forced his hand.
“I wasn’t counting on this, but we’ll be fine. We’re open for business,” Murphy said Thursday afternoon from a mobile building that serves as his temporary shop for Michael Murphy & Sons. “Guys started shooting (clay) targets again today.”
Most of the store’s shotguns were protected by a vault of concrete up to two feet thick, and a door that weighs thousands of pounds. Murphy or another employee will now escort people into the vault that allows open viewing and handling. Some guns held in storage outside the vault were damaged by water from fighting the fire that was contained to the second floor of the building that was made from native stone in 1917.
“The boxes for some of the guns got damaged by water from fighting the fire, but the shotguns are fine. Some guns have little damage,” he said. “We’ll look at a few every day and list them (online) as we can.”
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Murphy said Greenwood’s inventory of raw materials and customer’s guns were “a total loss.”
Michael Murphy & Sons began on the site in 1988. Michael Murphy had previously dabbled in shotgun sales for more than 20 years before the store opened. Marc Murphy and his four siblings were raised on the ranch. He worked often in the gun shop or nearby shooting ranges as a child and took over the business in 2002.
For nearly 30 years, the shop three miles north of Augusta has been recognized as one of the finer high-end gun stores in the nation. It remains one of the top dealers for Beretta and Benelli shotguns.
Michael and Marc Murphy have done thousands of custom shotgun fittings from the location, coming up with the personal stock dimensions that make it easier for the shooter to mount and swing a gun accurately. Many of their clients had Greenwood make necessary adjustments to existing stocks, or to carve one to specific dimensions from high-grade walnut blanks.
In the past, Michael Murphy said theirs was the only full-service shooting facility where customers could buy a shotgun, get it fitted for their body, have Greenwood adjust or make a custom stock, and the customer then walk out the front door and begin shooting clay targets.
Murphy said all services will return, in time. He’ll rebuild his gun store and Greenwood will be building an additional building on the same grounds.
“He won’t be on the floor above us. He’ll have his own building,” said Murphy. “That will be a lot better for Jim, and a lot better for his customers, not having to climb a set of stairs to get to his shop.”
Murphy’s goal is to have the new facilities finished in six months, but said it could take as long as a year. Shooters wanting to use the sporting clays or wobble trap courses check in at the temporary building. Both courses are automated.
Because of space limitations, Murphy encourages people to keep checking the store’s Facebook page or website as guns slightly damaged in the fire will be priced and made available.
“I guess you can really call it a fire sale,” he said.
The shop and the target ranges are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday.